Eliots Natural Foods is a small grocery store with a vast selection of vitamins, many specialty health-food items, and a clean, spacious feeling. For example, when we were looking for a hard-to-find item, a natural nasal spray called X-clear, we found it here and nowhere else we looked. The prices are high, and if you are looking for more run-of-the-mill health foods in Sacramento, we would suggest checking Trader Joes or Whole Foods Market first. Eliots has a lot of personality and plenty of free parking.
The Book Den in Santa Barbara has a nice location near the art museum. The used books selection is good, and its a comfortable place to browse. The cats add to the friendly atmosphere, and the workers are helpful and intelligent. The location is average-sized, but some hard-to-find gems can be found here.
PROS: books, cats
Global Exchange is a small but awesome store of fair trade items. Fair trade items are special because the workers arent exploitedthey receive fair treatment and fair compensation in the form of living wages. This is one of my favorite stores to browse in the entire world. The products tend to be handmade and of excellent quality. They are authentic objects of their respective cultures as opposed to mass-produced, generic products. This level of quality is slightly expensive but completely worth it. This is a great place to buy unique gifts.
PROS: fair trade
Bookman in Orange is a large used bookstore with a good selection of quality titles. The workers are polite and have a lot of personality. They are very competent and professional booksellers. If you bring books to sell there, they can very quickly go through them and give you a fair price for them. There is a separate section devoted to mass-market paperbacks at low price. Comfortable atmosphere for browsing, clean bathrooms, plenty of free parking.
Chaucers Books in Santa Barbara has a very good selection of academic books and a large selection of childrens books. They have a lot of calendars and stuff like Dover booklets of stickers. The atmosphere is comfortable and pleasanta person could spend many hours browsing here. The workers are helpful and very nice. Books are piled everywhere. Good selection of zen books. Theres a display table with new books, and books of local interest are prominently displayed too.
PROS: great selection
Josephs Bi-Rite Market is a recognizable landmark of downtown Bishop but a horrible place to actually shop for groceries. Their selection is very poor. The foods they offer are entirely conventional, and the atmosphere is dreary and depressing. The workers are unfriendly and unpleasant. A person would be better off going to Vons, or even better, Manor Market. Not recommended.
Green Apple Books is my favorite bookstore because their selection is awesome. They have all the books Im looking for. Their buyers must be geniuses. They have excellent remaindered books as well as used books and new books. The building itself is interesting, with its multiple levels. The workers are helpful and polite. They offer staff reviews that are helpful. Their selection of journals and blank books is superb. Green Apple is not the biggest bookstore in the world, but the books that are there perfectly match my tastes.
PROS: great selection
Manor Market is a small grocery store and has the best selection of high quality groceries in Bishop, though their prices are high compared to those in less isolated towns. When I lived in Bishop, I did most of my grocery shopping there because I wanted to avoid the impersonal and irritating environment of Vons. Manor Market is small and has narrow aisles with little room for a shopping cart. But their selection is surprisingly good, even for health food type items and ethnic foods. The workers are friendly, and sometimes they have good sales.
PROS: good selection
Beers Books is my favorite used book store in Sacramento because of the great selection, friendly, comfortable, and clean atmosphere, and helpful employees. They pay good money for books you want to sell. They even have a nice cat. I like the outdoor bargain book area. I also enjoy browsing their postcards and note cards. Bathrooms are clean. Even the music they play is non-intrusive and enjoyable. I go there often. Its not a huge place, but it does have a good variety of books for the size of the location.
PROS: good selection, friendly and competent employees
Jim Hanley Firestone is a fair, honest, and competent mechanic with great prices (and a AAA discount). He consistently charges less than we expected, and his work is great. His waiting area is comfortable, and the bathrooms are clean. Work is done in a timely manner. We go there for everything, including a smog check, and have never had a problem.
PROS: honest, fair